Visualization Psychology



The aim of visualization is to support people in dealing with large and complex information structures, to make these structures more comprehensible, facilitate exploration, and enable knowledge discovery. However, users often have problems reading and interpreting data from visualizations, in particular when they experience them for the first time. A lack of visualization literacy, i.e., knowledge in terms of domain, data, visual encoding, interaction, and also analytical methods can be observed. To support users in learning how to use new digital technologies, the concept of onboarding has been successfully applied in other domains. However, it has not received much attention from the visualization community so far. This chapter aims to fill this gap by defining the concept and systematically laying out the design space of onboarding in the context of visualization as a descriptive design space. On this basis, we present a survey of approaches from the academic community as well as from commercial products, especially surveying educational theories that inform the onboarding strategies. Additionally, we derived design considerations based on previous publications and present some guidelines for the design of visualization onboarding concepts.


Christina Stoiber, Markus Wagner, Florian Grassinger, Margit Pohl, Holger Stitz, Marc Streit, Benjamin Potzmann, Wolfgang Aigner
Visualization Psychology , Visualization Onboarding Grounded in Educational Theories
Springer, 139--164, doi:10.1007/978-3-031-34738-2_6, 2023.


    title = {Visualization Psychology},
    author = {Christina Stoiber and Markus Wagner and Florian Grassinger and Margit Pohl and Holger Stitz and Marc Streit and Benjamin Potzmann and Wolfgang Aigner},
    editor = {Danielle Albers Szafir and Rita Borgo and Min Chen and Darren J. Edwards and Brian Fisher and Lace Padilla},
    journal = {Springer},
    doi = {10.1007/978-3-031-34738-2_6},
    pages = {139--164},
    publisher = {Springer International Publishing},
    booktitle = {Visualization Psychology},
    chapter = {Visualization Onboarding Grounded in Educational Theories},
    year = {2023}



  • Christina Stoiber
  • Markus Wagner
  • Florian Grassinger
  • Margit Pohl
  • Holger Stitz
  • Marc Streit Marc Streit
  • Benjamin Potzmann
  • Wolfgang Aigner